Welcome to 12 WEEKS TO BECOMING AN EXCEPTIONAL BRIDE. I know you want to feel fit and fabulous on your wedding day, and that’s why you are here! In this program, which was created with love, I will give you the guidance and support to not only be wedding dress ready and look and feel amazing on your big day, but also to have a happy and healthy mind

In addition, you’ll receive the resources to create a healthy home, and learn the secret ingredients to a happy and healthy “ever after” with your partner

My name is Sheila and I’m your personal BRIDE Coach. A coach INSPIRES, MOTIVATES and LEADS. I promise to inspire you to be in the best health and fitness shape of your life, motivate you to take action on your goals and lead you with the best information and resources available.

You are not the ordinary bride looking for a quick fix. You are the exceptional bride seeking the way to not only a fit and fabulous body on your wedding day but a healthier life for “ever after”

Being “Bride Fit” is not just about how amazing you look and feel in your wedding dress, although that’s part of it and you will! It means you will be BRIDE FIT in all the areas of health; body, mind, home and relationships.

My goal for you is to feel amazing in your skin, learn how to set up your home to make a healthy lifestyle simple, and learn some basic habits to ensure your relationship THRIVES.

The level of your health directly affects the health and happiness of your relationships especially with your partner in life. I want you to reap all the benefits that happy marriages have like reduced risk of disease, increased satisfaction with life, higher advancements in careers, and an overall elevated level of contentment

12 WEEKS TO BECOMING AN EXCEPTIONAL BRIDE will save you years of learning and experience and accelerate you to a level of awareness that will guarantee a deeper, more meaningful relationship with not only your partner but with yourself.

I recommend you create a BRIDE FIT binder to keep you organized and start down the BRIDE FIT journey with me. A one-inch, three ring binder is all you need to keep the class resources I will be sharing with you. This is a great way to start implementing my suggestions and keep track of how far you will come to be that EXCEPTIONAL BRIDE on your big day!

I feel honored that you chose me to be your BRIDE COACH. I’m excited to get started and look forward to seeing your amazing results along the way.

Week 1: Bride Fit Body I

I am beyond excited to partner with you on your journey to the BRIDE FIT BODY! My goal for you is to have a fit and fabulous body, glowing skin and to be overflowing with confidence on your wedding day!

You may be thinking that I’m going suggest a complicated exercise routine that involves endless hours on cardio equipment at the gym and a diet program that involves measuring and weighing every morsel of food.

Most of the time we equate weight loss (let’s rename that “fat release”) to punishing our bodies with exhausting workouts and deprivation of food by drastically cutting calories.

I am going to paint you a very different picture.

My suggestions for a BRIDE FIT BODY involves eating delicious REAL FOOD, as much as you need, exercising less and moving more. It also involves radical self-care and more sleep!

Getting a fit and fabulous body is actually SIMPLE.

I realize that not everyone is starting at the same level. You can visit HealthStatus.com and take the  fitness assessment to get a better idea of your personal fitness level. At HealthStatus.com, you’ll also find endless health and wellness resources there also.

Start where you are and develop new habits. No need to get too complex.

I recently watched some interviews on a weight loss summit and one of the health and wellness professionals believes that, “Complexity is the enemy of execution”. Well said! I promise this process isn’t complicated. Don’t overthink it or get overwhelmed.

Take one step at a time, you will develop new habits that support a fit and fabulous BRIDE FIT BODY and a sustainable healthy life “ever after”.

You may be thinking that you need to get the show on the road, and that you don’t have time for “slow but sure”, you want “fast and furious”! After all, this is the biggest day of your life and you are the centerpiece of the day! Trust me, I will accelerate the process and recommend some “Jumpstarts” to get the momentum going!

Here are 6 habits to establish before moving forward:

1. Drink Water

This sounds simple and it is, but most don’t drink nearly enough and are in a chronic state of dehydration. You need to up your water intake to at least ½ your body weight in ounces. That means if you’re 150 pounds, you need to rink t least 75 ounces of water per day, I suggest aiming for 100 ounces. I don’t like to include anything that has caffeine towards your total intake.

Either you’re thinking this is an impossible request, you hate water, or you already have this nailed! Here’s a strategy to make this happen; take out the amount of water for the day and put in a glass pitcher with ice, lemon, lime, cucumbers, pure essential oils (peppermint and grapefruit are my favorite) or whatever makes you happy! Give yourself some rules like, drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning (yes, before coffee) and making sure you have 50 ounces down before 2pm. There’s an app called Water Log that you can download to keep you on track. Drinking more water can change your life if you are currently not drinking enough!

2. Eat More Vegetables

The common denominator in any “diet”; Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian or Paleo, is that eating mostly vegetables is the  foundation. Shoot for 10 servings per day. Quality does matter; local, in-season and organic is best, we’ll get into more detail later in the program. For now just eat more vegetables and do the best you can, that’s all I ask!

3. Eat Protein and Some Fat for Breakfast

For example, a protein shake made with coconut milk or nut milk would work as long as fat isn’t in the protein mix. Look at this as a great opportunity to increase your daily vegetable intake by adding some greens in your shake. Eggs are also a great choice, the whole egg please! Pastured eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Scramble some in a little coconut oil, or make an omelet loaded with vegetables! Here’s something to try – start with a bag of frozen organic mixed vegetables (I use a stir-fry mix, broccoli, or cauliflower) and put them in a deep pan with a little water.

Cover the pan and heat the vegetables on a medium – high temperature. Wait approximately 5 minutes and your vegetables will be lightly steamed and ready to go. Drain or add water as needed to the pan and then crack 1-3 eggs on top. Cover the pan again and heat on low to cook the eggs to your liking (don’t burn the veggie’s, the eggs will still cook in the steam, so turn off the heat if you need).

4. Walk

As much as you can, every day. Aim for 10,000 steps per day. First measure your steps and if you are currently a lot lower than that number, don’t panic! Start by adding 500-1000 steps to your daily routine. After working at that pace for a week, add another 100-500. The end goal is 10,000. Walking for 15 minutes in the morning, before eating, and 15 minutes at night after dinner is great! If you sit all day at work, take breaks and get up every 25 minutes. If you have the ability to stand while working, try to switch it up and get out of your chair as much as possible.

5. Do Something 3 Times Per Week

This can be a Tabatha training at home, which is doing an exercise like the stationary bike, elliptical, air squats, push ups, or a combination of exercises, at a high intensity for 20 seconds, then resting for 10 seconds for 8 rounds. It’s a four minute workout with a huge bang for its buck! Download the TABATA TIMER app. Find a training studio with structured small group training or look into hiring a personal trainer. I included a link in the RESOURCES section with some things to consider when hiring a personal trainer. Remember FAT LOSS is a by-product of strength. Don’t rush to a level that’s too far ahead, start with where you are, and we’ll move up from there.

6. Sleep

So important and severely underrated! The belief that you can sleep when you’re dead is false! Sleep and fat release are directly connected. We can dive deep into this subject but let’s start with going to bed 15 minutes earlier than you are currently doing. Sleep hygiene, which is a variety of practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness, is key. Routine is important. Take time to relax at night, avoid any emotional or upsetting conversations, dim your lights, and if you can eliminate computers, phones or anything with a screen a couple hours before you go to sleep. A cool and dark bedroom is best.

Let’s recap that list:
1. Drink More Water
2. Eat More Veggies
3. Eat Protein and Some Fat For Breakfast
4. Walk More
5. Do Something 3 x’s Per Week
6. Sleep More

Let’s take some deep breaths, there’s a lot of information I’ve just given you and sometimes taking some deep diaphragmatic breaths helps you clear your mind and absorb it all.

The BRIDE FIT BODY is best served with supplements that actually work. Look for GMP approved on the label and pharmaceutical grade in the product information. I put a link under the RESOURCES to my main partner product, Usana Health Sciences with some basic recommendations. Feel free to email me any questions you may have.

I would be negligent if I didn’t touch on the EXTREME importance of GUT HEALTH (the health of your intestinal track, AKA, “GUT”). I can really GEEK OUT on the science here but I’ll save you all the detailed information. You can research the connection between fat release, brain health and your immune system if you desire but I’ll give you the important bottom line … You cannot release fat or absorb nutrients if your GUT is not healthy!

You may think your gut is healthy, but if you are currently eating anything close to the Standard American Diet, AKA, “The SAD diet”, NOT taking probiotics or eating fermented food or have STRESS, chances are you have a “Leaky Gut.” Don’t let that term freak you out!

You may have bloating, potty issues, heartburn or even brain fog. These are typical side effects. Again, I don’t want to dive too deep here. Let’s go to my recommended solutions:

  1. Limit or eliminate processed food
  2. Add Probiotics in your routine. I don’t recommend grabbing a bottle at your next visit to your local drug or food store. Apply the same guidelines I gave you for the supplements.
  3. I really like a product called GI REVIVE by Designs for Health. I’ll put a link in the resource section where you can order. This is truly a “GUT HEALER”, in my opinion, and will restore your leaky gut with 1 tablespoon in your water or shake per day.

Let’s take another deep breath!

Remember the “Jumpstart” to get the momentum going that I mentioned earlier? Using the same link for the supplements you will find a 5-DAY RESET kit under energy products. You can also check out my website for details on the “Break-Up with Sugar Program” . There are also some other good programs that I’d be happy to help you compare and find direction in. Again everyone is on different levels. Some might feel great with a juice cleanse, which may be too extreme for someone else.

The important fact is that you are participating in this program that will support you getting a BRIDE FIT BODY no matter where your start point is. And the even more exciting and important part is that the information I’m sharing with you will improve your health, your partners health and everyone you love in your life. Health is wealth and the key to happiness. I’m looking forward to talking to you next week seeing how you are doing with the 6 Steps, and getting you closer to the BRIDE FIT BODY.

Week 2: Bride Fit Body II

I’m excited to be back with you again! I want to start with recapping the RESOURCES I gave you last week. If you did half of them, I’m happy!

If you have upped the intake of your water over the past week you may be noticing more energy, less hunger and possibly a lower number on the scale? Especially if you replaced a carb/sugar loaded latte and bagel in the morning with a protein shake or eggs and veggies and started walking daily.

If you decided to accelerate things and ordered the “Break Up with Sugar” program or something similar, you should be starting this week or next, depending on when you placed your order.

Same with the vitamins that I suggested, they will be arriving soon and you can get started with filling immune deficient that may be causing cravings or for you to feel not quite satisfied, even though you’ve eaten enough. Your body needs those nutrients and it reminds you with cravings, but without giving your body what it’s actually asking for, you will never feel satiated.

I do want to point out that most multi-vitamins, including the ESSENTIALS from Usana that I recommended, do not contain iron. If you are feeling exhausted and dragging through the day, you may be deficient.

Iron is an essential mineral responsible for transporting oxygen throughout your body. It’s also responsible for maintaining  healthy skin, hair and nails. Deficiency will leave you feeling tired, with brittle nails, hair loss, cold feet and hands. Menstrual bleeding and not eating iron rich foods will often leave a woman deficient.

Three things to do:
1. Get your iron levels tested easily with a blood test.
2. If you’re not eating red meat, and you’re not a vegetarian, add in 1-2 servings of 4 ounces per week of (preferably) GRASS-FED beef.
3. Take the Pre-Natal Essentials from Usana that contain iron, or I also like FLORA VITAL with iron and herbs. It’s a liquid supplement rich in iron and B-vitamins. I’ll add a link in the RESOURCES; you can purchase them at most health food stores and Whole Foods.

I want to remind you to email me if you have any questions. I stand on the shoulders of giants, and have a toolbox of valuable resources including health and wellness professionals like scientists, integrative and functional medical doctors and trainers to support you to be the healthiest and happiest FIT BRIDE!

How’s your SHAME today? Are you a FAT BURNER? If not yet, you will be soon! Remember SHAME is an acronym to quickly access your Sleep, Hunger, Mood, Energy and Cravings.

I’m going to dive into more workout recommendations next week, giving you another week to increase your daily steps and establishing 3 days a week of “doing something” like participating in a group fitness, small group or personal training or a routine you follow at home.

Keep in mind that FAT LOSS is a byproduct of strength, first incorporating body weight exercises and progressing to picking up heavy things, will burn fat and move you towards your BRIDE FIT BODY.

Measure how many steps you take per day with a Pedometer, the goal is 10,000. Again, don’t panic if your current steps per day are a lot lower right now. Every week you will increase by 100-500, you’ll get there!

Let’s talk about a cooling vest. When you expose your body to cool temperatures it stimulates the Brown Adipose Tissue, located in the neck, spine and clavicle area to burn the White Adipose Fat for energy to keep your body warm.

The KewlVest Weight Management Vest was designed after the Harvard Medical School study that used a 57-degree’s Fahrenheit Cooling Vest to stimulated Brown Adipose Tissue.

Research shows that activated Brown Adipose Tissue through cool temperatures has the potential to burn several hundred calories.

This is a simple bio hack to burn calories and more importantly burn FAT without physical exertion.It’s exciting because even when we exercise we’re usually burning Glucose, blood sugar, then Glycogen (sugar stored in the liver and muscles) before moving to White Adipose Fat for energy.

Cold Parthenogenesis is when heat production is stimulated by exposure to cold temperatures, you can do some cold water swimming, cold showers or other less appealing things to burn extra fat calories, but I prefer to wear the cooling vest! Much more comfortable! I’ll put a link to the KewlVest in the RESOURCES where you can read the studies and research and even order your vest if you would like. Use code BRIDES for a 20% discount. I also added a link to an informative article written by one of my mentors, Ben Greenfield, about Cold Parthenogenesis. He dives deeper into the science.

Part of my goals I mentioned was for you to be glowing on your wedding day! Adding in “Real Food”, reducing or eliminating “Fake Food”, taking high quality vitamins and drinking 100 ounces of water per day is a great start!

We have always heard that a glowing complexion is not only a sign of youth but also a reflection of your overall health and well-being. I want to mention here that when you initially add in whole real food and high quality supplements you  may experience a detox effect.

What happens is all the nutrients you are adding force out the toxins that may be hanging out in your body!

This is a really GOOD thing! One way “out” is through your skin, so if you experience a rash or break out, it’s more than likely to be a detox effect, not an allergy to broccoli! In addition to detoxing through the skin, the toxins exit when we go to the bathroom, both ways! You may see an increase in this area during the transition in your diet if you were previously eating a lot of processed food void of nutrients. We also exhale out toxins.

If your symptoms are more than you are comfortable with, cut the recommended dosage of your vitamins in half. You can add them back in after a month or so, and see how you feel, more than likely your body will be able to handle the increase in nutrients. Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions or concerns.

Time for a couple deep breathes!

Nutrients like vitamin C and essential fatty acids are major contributors to beautiful skin. I don’t have time to go too far into it, but I can’t miss this opportunity to mention the amazing benefits of BONE BROTH for gorgeous skin, and as a bonus it’s ridiculously amazing for your overall health, especially gut health. As I mentioned GLOWING SKIN is the side effect of being healthy!

I will go into how to make it later in the program, which is super easy, but for today I will put a link to the best source to buy already made. You can simply drink this delicious broth like a cup of tea in the morning or night; your skin will greatly reward you by looking gorgeous!

I recently had a conversation with my friend who’s a make-up artist and uses non-toxic and parable free products. She said like a painting you want to start with a clean canvas! She emphasized the importance of routine no matter what skincare line you use. Cleanse, tone, moisturize, exfoliate 2 x’s per week and use glycerol acid serum.

I prefer you pick a basic skin care program that does not contain parables, which are chemicals that preserve the products and have been linked to cancer.

QUICK TIP- anything you put on your skin ends up in your blood quickly. When you add up all the chemicals in soaps, shampoo’s, conditioners, creams, deodorants, perfumes and cosmetic products, its A LOT! Minimize or eliminate as much as you can. Become conscience about what you put on your skin, which is the largest organ in your body.

Glycolic Acid has some amazing benefits and is a key to youthful skin. I put a link to the benefits in the RESOURCES along with the skin products that I use. Remember the secret to your success in getting a BRIDE FIT BODY is found in your daily routine.

We talked about a lot today that’s why it’s important to review the RESOURCES, print them and put in your binder! Don’t get overwhelmed. I promise becoming aware and making conscience decisions every time we eat has a huge impact on your health.
We will dive deeper into Planning and Preparing in the BRIDE FIT HOME part of the program but I need to touch on it now so that you can begin to think about the importance of being prepared for healthy eating.

There’s a GUARANTEE that you WILL get HUNGRY and STRESSED which will trigger MINDLESS and EMOTIONAL eating! The choices we make under those conditions will more than likely NOT support your goal to have the BRIDE FIT BODY you desire unless we plan for it.

RULE #1 – Do NOT have any food in the house that is not supporting your goals. If your weakness is ice cream, don’t buy it! If you have a craving one night for it and you are motivated to get in the car and drive to the store then you should enjoy the indulgence (with no shame or guilt please!) and move on! Side note – If you indulge in ice cream, aim for organic full fat with real ingredients!

We will sometimes have UNPLANNED eating or drinking, the important thing is to remember you are NOT bad or weak! There is no need for shame or punishment, which will definitely lead to more unplanned eating and drinking. Enjoy it and move on!

Preparing healthier choices to keep in your house to munch on during those times that we are extra hungry or just want to crunch on something is important. Don’t think pretzels, nutrient deficient, and sugar spiking “fat free” snack-ee foods either. I like to have frozen vegetables in my freezer for those times at night when I just want to chew. I put the bag in a deep pan, add a little water, cover and heat on med – high. It’ll be ready in 5 minutes. Put it in a bowl and add some salt and hot pepper.

Frozen fruit is great to have available for a sweet treat. I keep frozen berries and black cherries, which you can blend up in your food processer and make an icy desert or frozen banana for banana ice cream. Raw nuts in the freezer are also a must! Measure out ¼ of a cup of cold almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews or walnuts. Putting some chili seasoning or curry adds flavor. I put a link to “Just Eat Real Food” in the RESOURCES to get some food ideas including sweet treats made with real ingredients like coconut, nuts and seeds, dates and cacao (that’s chocolate)!

Don’t forget about the wine you may have in the house. If our goal is a BRIDE FIT BODY then reducing empty calories such as alcohol is a great idea. I’m not saying you need to give up these indulgences; I just want you to make conscience decisions, not impulsive ones! I know for me, if I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed and I have wine in the house, I will more than likely open it.

If I have to go out to the liquor store I have time to really think about if it’s a decision that is supporting my goals. Having some herbal tea while soaking in a bath with essential oils with dimmed lights and calming music may be the better choice for the stress and will support the goal of de-stressing and ensuring a good nights sleep, which is completely in alignment with achieving a BRIDE FIT BODY!

Go through your cabinets and fridge, throw out products that aren’t serving you and nourishing your beautiful healthy body. Let go of the guilt and throw out the ½ full package of Oreo’s or Vienna fingers. The Cheese-It’s, Ritz Crackers and Halloween candy too! They are poison and really aren’t good for anyone, especially kids, so if you have kids or you have an idea to make a goody bag for your neighbor with kids, think again!

Move on to the freezer and refrigerator. You will feel so good! After you get rid of the junk make it clean and neat. Now you’re ready to add in some real food and must have staples for a healthy kitchen that will be a big contributor to your BRIDE FIT BODY!

I generally suggest or recommend the highest quality products or food available because I believe quality matters, because everything is connected. Our food is fueling our bodies, which is connected to our brains, which effects our moods and will ultimately have a positive or negative influence on the health and happiness of our relationships. I know this seems pretty deep and unrelated to what we stock our cabinets and refrigerators with but it really is connected! When I mention organic, non-GMO, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, pork and eggs, clients sometimes immediately assume they can’t afford these luxury foods.

In general people spend money on what they value. Valuing your health may be the greatest investment you can spend your money on! It may cost a little more for the higher quality food but here are some ways to cut down on the cost. Buy in-season local organic produce at farmers markets, grow your own produce (Yard2Kitchen.com if you live in NJ), or join a CSA (community shared agriculture), which can easily be found in your area through Google.

Although you pay more, high quality produce, meats and eggs from local farms are available at Whole Foods. Contact the local farms that supply your local Whole Foods or health food grocer and find out if you can purchase directly from them. Another source is US Wellness Meats, who’s mission is simple: Do what’s good for our animals, good for our planet and good for you. I love supporting companies that have integrity, value health and have genuine intention to make a positive difference in the world. In addition to meat, they offer wild seafood, organic produce and healthy snack food.

This could potentially be a one-stop shop for you and save you time by having it delivered to your home. Another source of affordable organic, non-GM food is Thrive Market, it is like Costco meets Whole Foods! These resources, links and information are easily located on my website and I will include in the RESOURCES.

Have a happy healthy week! See you soon!

Week 3: Bride Fit Body III

By now you are well on your way to new habits that are supporting your journey to a healthier and happier version of you. I’m overflowing with excitement! Thank you again for partnering with me and allowing me to support you to being a FIT BRIDE.

We covered so much in the first two weeks, so let’s review. Don’t worry if you didn’t implement all the suggestions etc. I normally suggest one to three new things to introduce every two weeks, but I know you’re committed and already made the decision to get BRIDE FIT, which means you’re in the advanced class!

Week 1 we cleared up some common misconceptions in the area of nutrition and exercise. Hopefully we are in agreement that fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does!

Egg yolks and avocados are not the enemy. Processed food like substances with hyper-palatable flavors, which leads to overeating and a need for excessively flavored food that we shouldn’t have a taste for, is the enemy!

We also learned that two hours of miserable boredom on cardio equipment at the gym is not necessary, recommended or effective. The road to a BRIDE FIT BODY is not about deprivation or punishment. It’s about eating delicious real food, feeling empowered with information to make decisions that support your goals of feeling fit and fabulous!

We discussed micronutrient deficiencies and the side effects associated, like low energy and cravings. You learned a little bit about GUT HEALTH and how that is directly connected to your ability to absorb nutrients from your food and vitamins, the strength of your immune system and ability to release fat. Implementing high quality probiotics is good for your GUT.

I recommended a Jumpstart to your BRIDE FIT journey and fat release such as the Break-Up With Sugar program on my website, juice cleanse for the very serious bride, or a Jumpstart cleanse from a high quality source like Usana Health Sciences or Designs for Health.

You were introduced to cold thermogenesis and using a cooling vest to burn white adipose fat while doing emails, watching TV or your 12 WEEKS TO A FIT BRIDE program!

We discussed skin health and the importance of a skin care ROUTINE; Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize, Exfoliate Twice Per Week, and use GYCOLIC ACID by applying the serum on your face after you tone before you moisturize. Your skin health is a reflection on what’s happening inside your body and your overall health. Your nutrition and gut health are written all over your face! The goal is a beautiful, glowing, clean canvas for your wedding day and beyond!

Essential fatty acids, found in salmon, walnuts and purified fish oil, vitamin C and grape-seed extract support a healthy glow. Of course, the holy grail of beautiful skin and overall amazing for your health is BONE BROTH!

I’m hoping your cabinets; freezers and refrigerators are clean and organized with easily accessible delicious healthy foods and void of chemical filled fake food.

Before we move on I want to go through the checklist of the 6 SIMPLE actions we discussed on Day 1 and confirm you are implementing:

  1. Drinking 100 ounces of water per day or at minimum ½ your body weight in ounces.
  2. Eating more vegetables, aiming for 10 servings per day. Adding some high quality greens to your morning shake is a good way to increase your intake.
  3. Walking more with a goal of 10,000 steps per day.
  4. Start doing something like group fitness, small group or personal training. Hopefully you are using body weight and progressing to using weights, since fat loss is a by-product of strength.
  5. Eating proteins and some good fat for breakfast like a protein shake and eggs.
  6. Getting more sleep.

Be sure to check out the article how to look good naked and live a long life by Ben Greenfield, in the RESOURCE section! There’s a great schedule of workouts you can model.

We’ve talked about Tabata training, 20 seconds of work to 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. If you haven’t tried this workout yet, refer to the link in the RESOURCES to give you a description and workouts. Download the Tabata timer on your phone. I use mine when I’m on cardio equipment at the gym, like the elliptical for example; I work really hard during the 20-second work time, like your racing and pushing with all the gusto you have! If you feel uncomfortable then you’re doing it correct! Then rest for 10 seconds. By the end of the four minutes you should feel like you exerted a lot of energy! The idea is more effective movement in a short amount of time.

We didn’t talk too much about the importance of meditation, sleep and pleasure. The world we live in now is fast and furious. We are in a constant state of emergency between all the portals of communication to keep up with and what seems like the endless “to do” list. There are multiple social media platforms; email accounts between work and personal, maintaining friendships, your relationship with your partner and now you’re planning a wedding!

DEEP BREATHE.

I’m sure you are thinking you have no time for some of the suggestions I’m requesting from you, especially more rest, sleep and pleasure! The truth is the better you take care of yourself and the healthier you are, the more productive and happier you will be in all other area’s of your life. Making your health and wellness a priority is the most valuable and profitable investment you can make. Being healthy, happy, confident, fit and fabulous is most attractive to your partner. Ask them!

Taking time for your workouts, yoga, massages, de-stressing baths, and fun activities that give pleasure and feed your soul, like a dance, art or acting class, are a big part of the BRIDE FIT picture.

Have you heard of “Rushed Woman Syndrome?” Dr. Libby Weaver, one of my mentors, is an internationally acclaimed nutritional biochemist, author and speaker. She brings awareness to the negative effects of spending most of our time in what is called the sympathetic nervous system. This is where we are in “fight or flight” mode.

This system is great if we are in immediate danger and need a surge of stress hormones to get our bodies moving quickly. For example, if you’re in your house and there’s a fire and need to get out quick, or a bear is chasing you!

Unfortunately, your body doesn’t know the difference between a fire, a bear or the 1,000 emails you need to get to! In the first two scenarios, there is immediate danger. Once you’re safe, you change over to the parasympathetic nervous system, which is where you “rest and digest.”

Living in a 24/7 world of constant stress effects our health and ability to release fat in a BIG way.

When we are in the sympathetic system our body thinks we are in danger and will prevent any releasing of fat. What if we were in a famine! Your body is designed to survive. The other point is that as women, we tend to be the primary caretakers and worry about making everyone happy. We sometimes hold on to the beliefs that tell us the story that it is selfish to spend too much time or money on ourselves.

Or those stories in our head that tell us we aren’t good enough, thin enough, tall enough or smart enough. We rush around to make sure people love and appreciate us. We don’t want to let anyone down so we put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own.

In Dr. Libby’s words, “It’s not just the physical health consequences that concern me for women. It’s that they live their lives so out of touch with those beautiful hearts, out of touch with how extraordinary they are and in the cloud of false belief that they aren’t enough.” Beautifully said!

I’m going to link to her article in the Huff post in the RESOURCES. “The Rushed Women’s Syndrome,” by Dr. Libby, is a great read with valuable information. I highly recommend it!

What’s the solution? Self-care, like massages, a day off to just sit on the beach or in the park with no “to do” list and taking a class just because you love it, are all-good for your health and should be practiced regularly!

If you believe this is selfish or indulgent, I want you to change the conversation in your head. You deserve pleasure and rest! Your BRIDE FIT BODY depends on it!

Your homework is to schedule downtime on your calendar. If your budget allows you to, schedule a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly massage. Get a facial. Try a yoga class; they have beginner classes if you’ve never done it before. Meditate on this and figure out what best suits you, then get it in the calendar!

Your partner will appreciate the more relaxed bride who purposely puts herself in “rest and digest” versus the bride who runs around like a chicken without a head and is left depleted and too tired to give their partner any attention or love at the end of the day! My grandma always said, “Men don’t look at the curtains, take care of yourself”. That may sound “old school” but it’s true!

For the next week, keep up with all the new habits you’ve started and add some self care this week. I’m so proud of you and your decision to become a FIT BRIDE for the big day and beyond! You’re truly an amazing woman!

Week 4: Bride Fit Mind I

Welcome back! The new habits you have been practicing for the last few weeks are taking root and you are on your way to a BRIDE FIT BODY!

The BODY follows what the MIND believes. When our minds, or brains, are healthy our bodies are affected in a positive way. What makes our brains healthy? Just like releasing fat and getting your body fit, it’s a combination of things.

Did you know that happiness is a decision? Our brains are awesome at overtly learning from negative experiences and focusing on the bad. We are actually wired like that.

The negative bias is really helpful when living in the wild, but since predators aren’t chasing us in our current modern society, the tendency for our brain to scan for bad news is not serving us. Science has shown us that we can rewire our brains for greater happiness which is really good news!

Being healthy and happy affects the people around us, especially the ones who are the closest to us and love us the most. The truth is a healthy and happy relationship with your partner is only possible if you are healthy and happy in your own body and mind.

We tend to look at the faults or shortcomings in others and focus on what they should or shouldn’t be doing, so you may be thinking your partner needs to work on this! Let me suggest making this journey to a BRIDE FIT MIND all about you!

Healthy habits, positive attitudes and happiness are all contagious! Which is more good news! Step into your power and affect your loved ones in a way that will cause them to be healthy, positive and happy!

Neuroscientists have discovered the strategy for rewiring the brain. We’ve all been told to “think positive”, which is great advice but leaves us with guilt and shame when we have a hard time with simply “thinking positive”. Don’t beat yourself up, there’s more to it than just THINKING, but that is the first step!

Let’s say for example, your brain is telling you that you will never get BRIDE FIT because you never finish or follow through on such programs. The negative conversation continues with damaging language that keeps you feeling bad about yourself and ultimately becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Let’s say you stop the negative thoughts at the get go. Literally tell your brain to shut up!

Now change the station and talk to yourself as if you were encouraging or comforting your best friend. The conversation changes and is filled with positive words that inspire and motivate! The negative thoughts will keep coming but the important step in rewiring your brain is to catch the negative and switch it up as soon as possible!

After spending a few weeks in the BRIDE FIT BODY sessions, you are now a conscience eater and more aware of what real whole food is. Now I want you to become a conscious thinker too!

Toxic thoughts are just like toxic food; they have negative effects on our health. After you change your THOUGHTS, the next step to rewiring your brain is FEELING.

Get in the emotion of what the goal or completed task feels like. Emotion is the fuel!.

Your positive thinking isn’t just random words floating around with no meaning. The key here is to connect the positive thoughts with the positive emotion.

How does it make you feel to be FIT and FABULOUS on your wedding day and armed with established healthy habits that not only have you BRIDE FIT on your big day, but also living healthily and happily ever after with the love of your life?

Here are some emotions that may come to mind, Confident, Strong, Proud, Beautiful, Sexy, Powerful, Feminine. Feel free to add some more! Now say them slowly and savor the way it makes you feel in your body! This leads to the next step…BELIEF!

You may not have ever completed a program prior to now but you KNOW you will complete this BRIDE FIT program. BELIEVE it! It could be about completing a task like cleaning out a closet or finishing a book. With this process you are wiring and strengthening the brain pathways

Now VISUALIZE the goal or the manifestation of the emotion you are already feeling. The brain can’t tell the difference between something real or imagined. When you mentally rehearse your new habits, you strengthen your ability to create them in your life.

SEE yourself wearing your dream dress looking fit and fabulous, feeling beautiful and confident! Visualize yourself doing the steps to accomplish the end goal, like getting up early to take a 15-minute walk; preparing and packing a healthy lunch; taking a restorative warm bath.

The best athletes in the world visualize performing their sport perfect; it’s a very powerful tool that you can use to accomplish what you previously thought wasn’t possible.

Visualize your refrigerator organized with easily accessible healthy food for example. Don’t limit your visions; apply it to all your hopes and dreams in your body, mind, home and relationships.

Taking ACTION is an important part of this formula. You can’t think and feel one way and act another. Your actions need to match your goals, in other words you won’t rewire your brain by eating donuts all day while repeating affirmations of wanting to be healthy and have BRIDE FIT BODY.

Practicing this new way of thinking requires you to REPEAT, REPEAT, and then REPEAT!

When you repeatedly align your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, visions and actions you will experience lasting changes in your brain. Rewiring your brain for greater happiness requires us to be aware and grateful of all the abundance and good stuff in our lives, which we don’t always allow ourselves to notice. We usually pay attention to what we do or don’t have. The steps I gave you involve a mind shift and conscious thinking, which takes effort, but is well worth it!

Let’s take a break and do some box breaths. This is a breathing technique to calm nerves, relieve stress and get into your parasympathetic nervous system. Take this time to rest and digest response.

I’ll put a link in the RESOURCES with instructions on how to perform box breath breathing. There’s also a link to an App for your phone, this way when you’re rushing around you can program a reminder to take a few breathing breaks throughout the day.

These are diaphragm breaths. Place your hands on your belly. As you inhale you will fill your belly with air, it will expand, like a Buddha Belly. As you exhale you empty your stomach, like the air coming out of a balloon. Think of a square shape and Inhale UP 4 counts through your nose, hold ACROSS for 4 counts, exhale DOWN through your mouth for 4 counts, and hold ACROSS for 4 counts. You can repeat for 4 minutes, but even doing a few are beneficial, will take the edge off and calm you down

There are many factors to a happy and healthy BRIDE FIT MIND. We talked a lot about nutritional deficiencies and the importance of a healthy gut in regards to your overall health, feeling satiated and the ability to release fat..

Now let’s talk about how it affects brain health and happiness. Science has beyond a doubt connected mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with a poor diet high in sugar, nutritional and micronutrient deficiency. I’m not going into detail about mental illness; however I think it’s important to have awareness in this area.

Most people don’t connect bad diets with their physical health, never mind their mental health! Let’s keep this about HAPPINESS. I included a link with information on how omega 3 and vitamin D are connected to brain health and happy moods.

If you took my suggestion in the FIT BRIDE BODY then you may be supplementing with a purified fish oil and vitamin D in combination with essential vitamins and minerals already. If you are not takings supplements and want further information please email me. I included information on the vitamins I take and where to get them under the RESOURCES. Make sure that your supplements are GMP certified and pharmaceutical grade. Just like how all food is NOT created equal and has levels of quality based on where it came from, how it was processed, farmed or raised, vitamins are the same! Whatever I recommend is always the highest quality and tested for purity.

We talked a lot about radical self-care and the positive effects it has on your BRIDE FIT BODY. The same applies to your BRIDE FIT MIND! Taking time for pleasure, doing things you love, and self-care, such as massages, are vital for your mind. I want you to be the happiest and healthiest bride possible! To experience the joy and excitement of planning your wedding and living an amazing life filled with love and happiness beyond the big day! Review the RESOURCES. Print and keep them safe in your BRIDE FIT BINDER!

I want to remind you how incredible you are! You must be an extraordinary woman since you are seeking knowledge and desire to be BRIDE FIT! Thank you for allowing me to be your BRIDE FIT COACH! Have an awesome week filled with an abundance of happiness.

Take notice of the conversation with yourself in your mind. Are the words negative and disparaging? Change your thoughts to reflect encouragement and self-love. Practice connecting your THOUGHTS with EMOTIONS. Then BELIEVE in your goals happening. VISUALIZE it! Make sure your ACTIONS support your goals and desires.

REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT.

Week 5: Bride Fit Mind II

Welcome back! It’s Week 2 in the BRIDE FIT MIND section. Last week we delved into what makes a mind healthy. Just like getting our body fit and fabulous, our brain fitness has more than one factor.

I wish it was as simple as suggesting one specific food to eat, drink a secret serum or take a magic pill to achieve a BRIDE FIT BODY AND MIND!

We learned that deficiencies in vitamin D, minerals, vitamin B and essential fatty acids combined with an unhealthy gut, are major contributors to depression and anxiety.

Eating a nutrient dense diet and supplementing where needed, will greatly contribute to a healthy brain. The healthier you are in your body (brain included) the healthier and happier your relationships are.

Having a FIT BRIDE MIND means thinking positive thoughts on purpose, nourishing your body with food and supplements that feed your brain the nutrients it needs to thrive, and making lifestyle choices, like physical fitness, to support your decision to be HAPPY!

Science confirms the link to brain health and regular exercise. Move your body on purpose to create happiness! I included a link to a PubMed publication from the official Journal of the Association of Medicine and Psychiatry detailing what science tells us in the area of physical fitness and its effects on mental health in the RESOURCES, for those of you who want to read more information.

The basic take-a-way is that exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative moods and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. The benefits of thirty minutes of exercise of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking for 3 days per week are pretty impressive!

The benefits include; increased sleep, increased interest in sex, stress relief and improvement in mood. All sounds great to me!

You will achieve these benefits even if you break up the 30 minutes of walking into two sessions of 15 minutes or three sessions of 10 minutes, which fits in perfect with the BRIDE FIT BODY suggestion of walking 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes after dinner.

I think we know the importance of physical fitness and movement in achieving the FIT BRIDE BODY and the FIT BRIDE MIND, how about a little mental exercise?

Are there benefits of reading every day? The answer is, yes!

In addition to reading, activities like puzzles and games like chess and scrabble, support cognitive stimulation. Just like your muscles in your body, your brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy. Reading is also a stress reliever. When you lose yourself in a great story, the stress of the day all slips away. A well-written novel can transport you to other realms. An engaging article will distract you, keeping you in the present moment and allowing tensions to melt away, ultimately allowing you to relax.

We discussed the rushed woman syndrome and the stress connected to the 24/7 world we live in. We have to make a conscious decision to disconnect from our smart phones and laptops, and engage in activities like reading, strengthening our brain and reducing stress. It also makes us interesting! We’ll discuss that further in the FIT BRIDE RELATIONSHIP sessions.

We’ve touched on the benefits to a morning routine but I wanted to talk about it more in depth. How we start the day sets the stage for the rest of it. I put a link to a book, The Morning Miracle, in the RESOURCES.

Listening to a podcast or reading is part of my morning routine. I heard the author Hal Elrod, interviewed on a podcast and was so moved with his story, which you can read about in his book

There is not a formula for the perfect morning routine; the important part is that you do one! This will set up your day to be happier and more productive. Your morning routine can be as quick as six minutes, according to Hal Elrod and looks something like this:.

1.Minute 1 – Silence: Taking deep breaths thinking of your gratitude list, pray for guidance for your day, or just focus on your breathing.
2. Minute 2 – Affirmations: Make a list of affirmations that remind you of your unlimited potential and your most important priorities. Saying them out loud will motivate you, give you confidence and will energize you to take the actions necessary. Here’s an example: I LOVE MY BRIDE FIT BODY, I’m Physically & Mentally Strong! Connecting the emotion of how that affirmation feels and really believing it will motivate you to continue the habits that support that result!

3. Minute 3 – Visualization: Whatever your goals are; fit body, happier relationship, more laughter, or more money. See what it will look like, feel what it will feel like, and experience the joy of it.

4. Minute 4 – Scribing: For a minute write down what you’re grateful for, proud of and/or the results you’recommitted to creating that day.

5. Minute 5 – Reading: Read 1 or 2 pages of a self-help book or something that inspires you. Learning 1 new idea, something you can implement into your day.

6. Minute 6 – Exercise: Get up and do 60 seconds of jump jacks or something to get your heart rate up. This will energize you and increase your ability to be alert and focused.

Now experiment with different practices in your routine!

I put a link to a video demonstrating what a Chi Machine is, which is part of my morning routine.

A Chi Machine is a device that looks like a small suitcase with two ankle rests on the top. You lie on the floor, on your back, and place your ankles on the rests. Then, you turn on the machine and for 10 minutes it shakes your legs.

Health claims associated with the Chi Machine range from improving blood circulation to improved digestion. I can say, it’s relaxing and energizing at the same time. I use the time on my Chi Machine to focus on my breathing and meditate.

Speaking of meditation, I added a link to an app called Headspace. This is a great meditation program if you want some support in starting a meditation routine, and is free for a trial period.

Adding a large glass of water with lemon to your morning routine has great benefits. In addition to jump starting your water intake for the day, adding lemon cleanses your system and helps flush out toxins, aids digestion, reduces inflammation and gives your immune system a boost.

I would love to see you implement the 15 minute brisk walk in the morning for the many benefits, including an improved mood. It is part of the FIT BRIDE BODY recommendations too, so it supports your body and mind!

I mentioned that listening to podcasts is part of my morning routine. I listen to a combination of podcasts that educate and motivate. They are always positive fuel for my brain! I listed my favorite one along with the link to the app you need to download in order to listen.

Start a morning routine this week. Keep it simple. Maybe follow the 6 minutes we talked about: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Scribing, Reading and Exercising. That’s a great start! Then hit the lemon water and take a 15 minute walk.

Keep smiling beautiful!

Go through the RESOURCES for this week and review the previous ones too. Email me if you have comments or questions. You are doing amazing! Congratulations on your commitment to have a BRIDE FIT MIND. Have a happy and healthy week!

Week 6: Bride Fit Mind III

We are back for Week 3 in the FIT BRIDE MIND series. You are now conscious of nutrients and foods that support brain health and hopefully implementing them in your diet. You now think positive thoughts on purpose and have a morning routine supporting a happy, healthy body and mind.

I struggle with words to express how proud I am of you for making this commitment to improve the health of not only your body, but also your mind. I can guarantee the time and effort you are putting into this program will result in a more meaningful life, with a deeper and more significant relationship with your love. Armed with awareness and information, you are able to make deliberate decisions about the food you feed your body, as well as the food and thoughts you fuel your mind with. We discussed conscious thoughts and how to rewire negative thinking. Now, lets talk about the subconscious.

It’s the part of the mind that is not fully aware but has a lot of influence on your actions and feelings. We can do something once we have awareness but what about the unconscious or suppressed emotions that may be sabotaging our greatest efforts to improve our health or make our lives more fulfilling and happy?

I was introduced to energy healing at a healthy education getaway in April of 2015; at one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to, called Sanoviv.

Sanoviv is one of the rare facilities where the best of conventional medicine and proven alternative medicines are combined together under one roof. They offer programs from healthy getaways, to detoxing programs, to more intensive cancer treatment programs and a variety of other options. I’ll put a link to them in the RESOURCES.

The energy healing method called, The Body Code, identifies and rids you of subconscious emotions that may prevent you from being your best self and holding you back from fully experiencing happiness and freedom in your personal and professional life. The basis of the program is that the human body holds all of the answers that we need to help it function at its absolute peak. From pinpointing and correcting health imbalances, to discovering what is holding you back and breaking through abundance blocks in your life.

The program also talks about improving relationships with your friends and family by leaving behind the trapped energy that is negatively affecting your relationships. I believe it helped me greatly in those areas and I would feel negligent if I didn’t introduce you to The Body Code.

Sessions can be done over the phone with a certified practitioner. No need to travel all the way to Sanoviv in Mexico! I put a link to more information where you can dive deeper if you feel it would benefit your journey to a BRIDE FIT LIFE.

We’ve talked about many parts that make up the FIT BRIDE MIND and how to create a happier more positive mindset. Included are foods like wild salmon and raw walnuts, micro nutrients like vitamin D and omega 3, and lifestyle practices like morning routines. It starts with a decision and then taking one step at a time towards the end goal. Another resource to look to is Dr. Andrew Weil’s Spontaneous Happiness book and program. Dr. Andrew Weil is a medical doctor known as a “guru” for holistic health and integrative medicine. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing him speak live at nutritional conventions in NYC provided from the school where I received my health coaching education, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Weil’s work and would recommend checking out his Spontaneous Happiness book if you desire further support and information in this area.

Let’s talk about the importance of friends, community and a “tribe”. One of the greatest contributors to our happiness as women is female relationships.

Making time to connect with girlfriends is an important part of a BRIDE FIT MIND and your happiness. This comes back to the rushed lives we live nowadays. You’re time is valuable and limited. Making room for like minded friends who will give you positive feedback and support your goals and dreams is a priority. Keep in mind that I am talking about “live” conversations, face to face preferably. Facebook is great for connecting but is not a substitute to the benefits of having a meaningful conversation or laughing with your girls for hours on a Girls Night Out. Best bet is to schedule a once a month happy hour, dinner or gathering at someone’s house. Put it on the calendar or more than likely, it won’t happen! Maybe you have some friends in the same season of life you are in. Having a support system and accountability partners on your way to being BRIDE FIT is crucial. They may be interested in walking with you or meeting you at the gym, exchanging recipes or taking a cooking class geared toward healthy preparation. Girl talk, including venting about things that your partner may not want to listen to or things you may not want to share with him, is valuable.

It’s important to share and talk with friends in your circle that are like you and desire learning and growth, setting goals, and making a plan of action to accomplish their hopes and dreams. The idea isn’t to spend precious time gossiping and lamenting on negativity. If you’re feeling negative about a situation you need to be cautious and consider whom you talk to about it. Friends or family who truly love you, and want the best for you, are the best choice. Their feedback should leave you feeling comforted and inspired. Offering solutions and encouragement.

I am very conscience about whom I work with and surround myself with. I’m especially mindful if I have a conflict or problem to work through. With that being said, there are times when keeping quiet, clearing your head and listening to your intuition is best.

I heard the saying, “Go to the throne and not the phone.” Meaning pray for guidance in situations and get quiet, instead of asking the opinions of too many people that may confuse you. Even worse some friends who are not in a good place or possibly have feelings of jealousy or envy may feed you negative thoughts and ideas that are potentially harmful to your relationship and the successful strides you have already made towards achieving a FIT BRIDE BODY AND MIND. Check out the links and recommendations for this week that I included in the RESOURCES. Keep looking back at the previous weeks and review the information we’ve established. It is all connected and works together. It’s really important to give yourself credit for all the positive shifts you have already made.

We have that tendency to focus on what we haven’t done and need to do versus acknowledging how much wehave accomplished.

Let’s take three deep breaths together. I’m looking forward to helping you create a BRIDE FIT HOME next. Have an amazing week filled with laughter and love

Week 7: Bride Fit Home I

I’m excited to get into the BRIDE FIT HOME sessions, let’s start with my favorite place in the house, THE KITCHEN!

I have a deep passion for healthy eating and high quality delicious food. My goal is set your kitchen up to prepare, cook and store healthy, delicious whole foods as easy and enjoyable as possible.

How we eat – including how we prepare and store our food – is a significant part of our health. The kitchen is the hub of house, where we come together to eat and connect with stories of the day. When guests come over everyone usually gravitates to the kitchen. I’ll go over a list of the “must have” appliances, healthiest choices for cookware and storage.

Remember, healthy and well-nourished people are happier, better partners and have more fulfilling and meaningful relationships. All of this starts with the most important room in the house…where the real magic happens, the kitchen! I highly recommend referring to The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org), for information on essential kitchen appliances, cookware and products. The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. The Environmental Working Group drives consumer choice and civic action.

Their cutting-edge research and education informs you about everything from what’s in your tap water, to the dangers of the cleaners under your sink, to the hidden chemicals and ingredients in dish soap. It’s my main “go to” resource in making informed decisions on creating the healthiest home possible.

My other “go to” resource is a must have book, “The Healthy Home”, by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz. This book is a valuable reference and provides simple truths to protect your family from hidden household dangers.

Let’s go over the must have appliances in a BRIDE FIT HOME. These are items that are perfect for you Bridal Registry. Items you register for your kitchen should contribute to preparing, storing and serving healthy food with simplicity and ease.

Here’s a list of my favorite must have’s:

  1. Food Processor – A food processor can grind, puree, mix, and do all the chopping for you. It can do all sorts of recipes that are not just delicious, but healthy too, because you are in total control of the ingredients
  2. Blender – Having a high-end blender like a Vita-Mix or Blendec in your kitchen will make creating smoothies, soups, sauces, dressings and even frozen treats super easy. Preparing your own dressings means big money savings in addition to being healthier because you can add the highest quality ingredients of your choice.The bottle versions in the store are usually made with high fructose corn syrup and unhealthy industrialized oils.Which happen to be two of the top ingredients that need to be eliminated or drastically reduce from your diet to achieve and maintain a BRIDE FIT BODY and MIND. The same applies with making your own protein shakes and smoothies. You will save ½ the amount of money you may spend at the gym smoothie bar and be in controlof the quality of ingredients that you use. These are higher priced blenders but it really is a one-stop shop for countless healthy creations. This is the perfect item for a “group gift” for friends or family to chip in for.
  3.  Nut bullet – This is a great alternative to the more versatile but more expensive blender. It’s a great choice if you and your partner is mainly interested in using a blender to make shakes or smoothies. It is also a great addition to the Vita-Mix or Blendec since it’s portable.
  4.  Crock Pot – Create delicious and nutritious meals super easy! It’s impossible to mess up a meal in a slow cooker; it’s a miracle worker! Basically you throw your ingredients in and slow cook your dinner while you’re at work or going about the day only to come home to the house filled with mouthwatering, amazing aroma’s, and the best part; dinner is ready! You will be using this appliance often, trust me! This is definitely on my “cannot live without list”.
  5. Water Filter – Drinking clean purified water is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health. We usually worry about water when we travel but we completely overlook the dangers in the water that comes out of our kitchen faucets or from the plastic water bottles we drink out of. There are different systems available from “point-of-entry” (POE) systems, which treat all the water entering the house or “point-of-use” (POU) systems,which treat water at the single tap. Point-of-us systems are usually located under a sink, on a counter top, or on the faucet itself. Check ewg.org and search water filters for valuable research and information. Use a stainless steel or glass water bottle for your filtered water and keep the water flowing all day! It’s hard to avoid buying and drinking out of plastic water bottles, but being mindful of the dangers of plastic especially when heated is important. You know when you leave water bottles in the car? Think about the transportation and storage of the bottles before you buy them. Drinking water is super important for health and fat release as we discussed in the BRIDE FIT BODY sessions. Stainless steal or glass is always best storage for water and food but if drinking from the plastic bottles is your best choice sometimes, that’s okay!

Let’s discuss the microwave oven. This is topic a of great confusion and debate in regards to the safety and healthiness of using a microwave for cooking and heating food. This is one of those areas that I encourage people to use their common sense and intuition. Personally I choose to use a microwave oven but rarely

There are some microwave alternatives to consider. A Turbo Convection Oven can be used to heat or cook. Everything you need to make more nutritious meals in less time.

A pressure cooker allows you to cook foods much faster. It works with steam pressure. It’s a sealed pot, with a lot of steam inside that builds up high pressure, which helps food cook faster.

For warming food a crock-pot lunch warmer has a cordless design, which allows you to conveniently tote from home to wherever you go. Food will gently heat and maintain a desirable temperature. Perfect to bringing healthy dinner leftovers to work for lunch. A hot water dispenser is an alternative to heating up water in the microwave. It provides instant hot water for oatmeal, tea, instant coffee, or anything else that requires hot water.

Another big item on your registry is your cookware. I understand how registering cookware and all the other kitchen items available for your bridal shower can be overwhelming. It’s a big temptation to register things that look cool, like the soda machine, but the truth is you will more than likely never use these gimmicky pieces and they will be taking up valuable space in your cabinets and counter top.

Trust me, I recently donated never used pasta and pizza cookbooks and expensive items from William Sonoma that loved ones generously gave me at my bridal shower twenty- two years ago. Help your friends and family spend their valuable money on the items that will support many years of use in your healthy kitchen.

As I promised I will recommend and point you in the direction of the best “must have” items to make preparing the healthiest food easy and quick. You may think that choosing a non-stick cookware set would lead to quick clean up, which is true, but not a good choice for healthy cooking. When heated, the surface of nonstick pots and pans emits toxic particles and gases into the food and can actually cause flu like symptoms.

The EWG, Environmental Working Group recommends cast iron and stainless steel cookware as safer options for stove top cooking, and oven-safe glass for baking. These safer pans might be a little harder to clean, but your health is worth it!

My favorite way to effortlessly remove stuck food from stainless steel pans is using the time cherished Bon Ami Cleanser. It also happens to be rated an A+ on the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning! Skip the toxic non-stick and register for the beautiful stainless steel pans, stockpot and cast iron pan or Dutch oven.

In the area or food storage, glass containers with plastic lids in a variety of shapes and sizes are the best choice for leftovers.

I’m hoping this information was helpful and informative for you. My intention is to give you information and direct you to resources that will arm you with knowledge in order to make the best decisions.

I have links in the RESOURCES to some of the products I mentioned. Check out ewg.org and print the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. 

The Dirty Dozen is a list of twelve fruits and vegetables that you are encouraged to buy organic. The Clean Fifteen is a list of fruits and vegetables that aren’t essential to buy organic. Put that in your binder for reference.

Don’t hesitate to email me with any comments or questions. I am excited for the new and important information you are learning and the habits you are establishing that will support being BRIDE FIT for your wedding day and living HEALTHILY and HAPPILY ever after!

Have an amazing week! LIVE * LAUGH * LOVE

Week 8: Bride Fit Home II

I’m excited to talk to you about planning and preparing for successful healthy eating. Let me start off by addressing the main reason people DON’T plan or prepare. TIME.

This is a side effect to the RUSHED lives we all seem to be living. As we discussed, when we have a goal and make a decision to make changes, then the next step is to take action!

The goal is to set up your kitchen and refrigerator to make healthy choices that support your commitment to a BRIDE FIT BODY AND MIND. You are NOT interested in the status quo of just SURVIVING and having mediocre health. You desire to THRIVE and have OPTIMAL health. Taking your health and happiness to a much higher level.

I don’t want you to start stressing out if food prepping, meal planning or preparing is NOT your thing! I have some really good news for you, if you are someone that does not enjoy preparing food and does not find it to be an active meditation practice like I do! There are many resources out there that can provide you with high quality, delicious and nutritious meals. You will have to plan for delivery or pick up, so it’s not the quick 15-minute decision to order a pizza when there is nothing else to eat.

I will put a link to Kettlebell Kitchen, which is an example of an amazing resource of high-quality delicious prepared food.They are currently only serving the East Coast. The site will serve as an example of what to look for in your area if you don’t live on the East Coast. I love this company because they are dedicated to providing the “cleanest fuel” for your body, meaning pure real food, that will always be free of artificial ingredients, preservatives and GMOs, and chock full of the good stuff like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids.

High quality food is an important factor when choosing a service or company providing you with meals. These guys for example, use grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and eggs, organic vegetables and high quality oils. Their menu is “PALEO BASED,” which I personally like.

It means they don’t include grains, dairy or gluten in the meals. These foods cause inflammation in your body, so I’m happy they don’t add them! As I get more resources of companies like this that have integrity, high quality service and products, I will pass on the information through my website and Bride Channel.

If you are wondering what GMOs are and why in most cases you want to avoid them, look to the ewg.org for information. It’s one of the best tools to support your healthy life, and it’s free! It’s like having your own personal scientists, wearing white coats working in a magic lab, and spitting out priceless information that equips you with knowledge in this very confusing world of nutrition.

The main thing I want you to walk away with from this session is an understanding that QUALITY MATTERS when it comes to your food. I know it can be daunting to shop at Whole Foods, for example. Do you need to buy organic or not? What does the Non-GMO Project label mean? What’s the difference between organic and grass-fed beef? Organic or pastured chicken? What’s the deal with the eggs? There are just way too many choices!

It’s not uncommon to experience anxiety when faced with all the vegetables in the produce area. It can be intimidating! Without a little encouragement or guidance, most will gravitate to the “known” vegetables like broccoli and carrots. Not to mention the confusion with what lettuce to buy! Most will end up with romaine hearts, which is a great choice, by the way! I think there is enough information I can talk about here to do an entire twelve-week course on this topic alone. I’m going to attempt to give you the cliff notes and keep it SIMPLE.

Let’s start with the produce department. Last week I included a link to a list of what we call the DIRTY DOZEN and the CLEAN 15. Print this and put it in your BRIDE FIT binder. The dirty dozen is a list the fruits and vegetables that you are STRONGLY encouraged to buy ORGANIC. These fruits and vegetables tested high levels of pesticide residue. A good rule of thumb is, if you eat the skin of the fruit or vegetable, get organic.

The CLEAN 15 is a list of conventionally farmed produce that tends to test low for pesticide residue. I realize organics cost more money, but you can feel safe about buying conventional produce on this list. Another way to save money on produce is buying in-season and local. The less travel time your produce has the fresher it is anyway, which is more desirable.

The author Jo Robinson has been researching the foods we eat and the nutritional losses they have undergone for thousands of years. In her book, she will give you valuable information, like which produce you should eat as fresh as possible since some vegetables lose their antioxidants faster than others. Drawing on hundreds of scientific studies, she uses her book to lay out which commonly available foods offer the best nutritional bang for the bite. For example, did you know that longer cooking will boost tomatoes’ health benefits? Some of the take-a-ways from her research that I use all the time are her recommendations on lettuce and garlic. Take the lettuce you bought from the farmers market or store, rinse it and dry it. Salad spinners are very helpful here. Then take your lettuce and RIP IT into bite-sized pieces before you store it. By doing this you are increasing the antioxidant activity… FOURFOLD.

The next time you eat it, it’s going to have four times as many antioxidants. In this book, Jo Robinson also recommends rinsing the lettuce leaves and then soaking in very cold water for 10 minutes. The cold water lowers their temperature, which slows the aging process. It also increases the internal moisture inside the greens, which keeps them crisp longer. Next, dry them in your salad spinner or towel. Dry them well. For optimal storage, you want the moisture inside the greens, not on the outside. Put the greens in a plastic bag, squeeze out as much of the air as possible without crushing the leaves, seal the bag, and then use a needle or a pin to prick it with ten and twenty evenly spaced holes. Put the bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, which is the coldest, most humid location.

Now you know how to prepare your lettuce when you get home from the store!

The other priceless bit of information I learned is about garlic. Garlic has so many healing properties and proven abilities to thin blood. Whether or not you get all the health benefits of the garlic depends on how you prepare and cook it.The result of heating garlic immediately after pressing or slicing it is that it looses all its cancer-fighting ability and is reduced to little more than a flavoring ingredient. That would be a shame. You can cook garlic and reap all its benefits if you make a simple change in the way you prepare it. Chop, mince, slice, or mash the garlic and then keep it away from heat for ten minutes. You can then sauté, bake, or fry the garlic and still get all its medicine.

We went over how to buy produce and the importance of buying organic when it comes to the DIRTY DOZEN. Buying local and in-season produce is best. Find a farmers market in your area. There are usually multiple farms that participate depending on the size of the market. If they don’t advertise that their farm is organic, ask them if they spray. Farmers are usually very honest!

Sometimes the farm can’t take on the expense of being certified organic, but they practice organic farming. I have a garden on my patio where I grow organic vegetables. I use a company that plants and services my garden. I do however get involved with the planning, harvesting and eating of the vegetables! I’ll link to them in the RESOURCE section but again, like Kettlebell Kitchen, they are only the East Coast area. They may have expanded by the time you check them out!

Either way, you will get an idea of what to look for in another company that services your area. I do shop for produce at a local health food store and Whole Foods as well. I always keep frozen organic vegetables and organic berries in the freezer. They are a good alternative and may be superior to the off season fresh vegetables sold in the supermarkets.

What about when you get home from the farmers market or supermarket? Even if you are getting meals from other sources, you will still be buying vegetables, fruits, snacks and other food items. Since we’ve been talking about produce, let’s talk about cleaning it. Even if you buy organic produce you still need to clean it. There are many hands that may have touched the produce and it does grow in dirt!

I put my fruit and vegetables in cold water and add either white vinegar or iodine. Both kill bacteria. A little goes a long way, a few drops of iodine or a couple tablespoons of white vinegar does the trick. Soak for a few minutes, then thoroughly rinse. It is important to clean the produce even if you peel the skin. The bacteria can be transferred while peeling or cutting. I realize this may feel like too much work, so if you are crunched for time, rinsing under tap water and drying with a clean towel will reduce bacteria up to about 98%.

Let’s imagine you just got home and you have all these fruit and vegetables. The first thing I recommend is to clean out the fridge and sink, and clear off the kitchen counter PRIOR to going shopping. This will reduce stress when you get home. Now it’s time to clean your produce, dry and store.

I just came across this product called FreshPaper. It’s purpose is to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for longer. You can line your fridge drawer, salad bag or fruit bowl with them. The paper is made with spices that naturally keep food fresh. I love to support and recommend products and companies that are authentic and have honorable and genuine intentions. This product started out at a local farmers market; a small simple project to help the community eat healthier. Now farmers and families are using FreshPaper across the globe with a mission to reduce food waste and hunger with this simple powerful idea.

There are some staples I prepare on Sunday that will usually last until Wednesday or Thursday. This depends on how many people are in your house and how long the food stays good. Of course, this set up can be applied to any day of the week! Once the produce is cleaned, dried and stored, it’s ready to go!

I like to grill or bake chicken breasst and slice them so they can easily be placed on salad or grabbed for a snack. I do usually rub the meat with olive oil and season with a variety a spices and seasonings before cooking. I buy and recommend the highest quality chicken that is available.

I personally get my meat from a farm in NJ that raises the animals with kindness and love. The cows are grass-fed and free to roam the farm. The pastured chickens and pigs do the same. No antibiotics or hormones are used.

There are two reasons this is important:

  1. How animals are treated matters. Industrialized farming, in my opinion, is inhumane. I make a conscious decision when buying food, especially meat. Knowing where your food comes from and what your food eats matters.
  2. The nutritional profile is much more favorable when you compare conventional meat to grass-fed and pastured poultry.

It’s not that easy to get pastured chicken or pork, even at Whole Foods. I’ll put a link to US Wellness Meats where you can order high quality meats, poultry as well as healthy snacks.

Let’s end this party with the EGG. They are possibly the most perfect food on the planet. Loaded with essential nutrients. Please eat the yolk, that’s where the nutrients like choline are located. Another part of my planning for the week is to hard boil a dozen eggs. It’s a great snack and also a quick breakfast on the go.

I know this was an enormous amount of information today and may be dazed and confused. I promise, as you review the information and practice what I’m presenting to you, it will all come together. Everything I’m sharing with you is connected to a BRIDE FIT BODY AND MIND.

Check into the resources I mentioned today, they help a lot! You can find the links in RESOURCES.

Homework this week is to go exploring in the produce section of the supermarket and pick one new vegetable you have never tried. Keep the preparation simple. Cut up and place in a deep pan, adding some water, and cover. Next turn the heat to medium. After a few minutes turn off and let it steam for a few more. Drizzle with some olive oil, and season to taste. You can always Google and find a plethora of recipes.

Planning and preparing is the key to success in all areas. I look forward to our next time together!

Have an amazing week!

Week 9: Bride Fit Home III

Welcome back! I am eager to get started today and give you more tips and suggestions to create a BRIDE FIT HOME.

Creating a BRIDE FIT HOME is really important for sustainable results and maintaining a BRIDE FIT BODY and MIND. Before we jump into to this session, I want to rundown the main take-a-ways from our time together so far.

By now, you are at Week 9 into the 12 WEEKS TO A FIT BRIDE program, and have been establishing daily habits that support your goal for a BRIDE FIT BODY and MIND. Those habits include drinking between 80 -100 ounces of clean water per day, moving your body on purpose, and participating in resistant training with weights in personal or small group training sessions, at a gym or at home. It’s also important to remember to eat something that contains protein and healthy fat in the morning, and making deliberate decisions about what you put in your BRIDE FIT BODY because you are a conscious eater.

You have a morning routine involving some meditation, movement and drinking lemon water. You choose to be happy every day and think positive thoughts on purpose. Just like the food you put in your body you are conscious about what you put in your mind. You exercise your brain and learn something new every day through reading, listening to a podcast, or having a meaningful conversation. Knowing how important a tribe is, you spend some of your valuable time with friends that are like-minded. You have a new awareness of micronutrients and the important role they play in your body’s ability to function at an optimal level. As a result of this awareness, you have a habit of taking high quality vitamins daily. You understand the importance of self-care, stress management and sleep, and the connection they have to happy moods and fat release. With this understanding you make it a priority to get regular massages, practice yoga, and take deep diaphragmatic breaths throughout the day. You make sure you get enough quality sleep and do things for your pure pleasure that isn’t attached to the “to-do” list. You will have a glowing complexion on your wedding day because of the accumulation of all these healthy habits including the daily routine of your skin care program.

You are aware of the importance of planning and preparing nourishing real food for successful and sustainable optimal health and your BRIDE FIT BODY and MIND. The planning may involve outsourcing meals made with high quality ingredients prepared with love and integrity. You are equipped with knowledge and resources to identify what quality food is and where to get it.

I am a proud mama right now! The growth has been slow, deliberate and sustainable. The goal is to be in the best shape of your life physically and mentally on your wedding day, and create habits that support a life of health and happiness “ever after.”

If you are struggling in any area of this program so far or having difficulty with suggestions I’ve made, or if something isn’t working for you, please reach out to me. My intention is to give you guidance and support that translates into results. You becoming BRIDE FIT is very important to me!

Next, I wanted to share and demonstrate some of my planning and preparing practices. The recipe I’m about to share, I learned from the amazing Sylvia! She is my cousin’s beautiful housekeeper and family caretaker. It’s super simple and is a great way to eat more greens in a delicious way.

Chop kale in the food processor. Transfer to a glass bowl. Mix in the juice of a lemon or lime, or both. Add and mix a few tablespoons of olive oil. I don’t measure exactly. Add and mix in the Hemp Hearts. This gives it a slightly nutty taste. Hemp Hearts are a plant-based protein and a source of balanced omegas. Season to taste with Himalayan sea salt and cayenne pepper.

This kale salad is delicious by itself. I like to add sliced avocado, and mix in some pomegranate seeds to add a sweet pop. Use as a side dish to a piece of fish, salmon is my favorite. It makes a great dip for cut vegetables like bell peppers, as well as tortilla chips. I think I make this every time I have friends over for wine time! Once you introduce this easy, nutritious and delicious salad/dip to your family and friends, they will ask you to make it whenever you go to their house. Trust me on this! This is even delicious for people that don’t like kale!

I mentioned grilling or baking chicken breasts, slicing them into strips and storing in a glass container in the fridge. It’s easy to add to the lettuce you have washed and stored in the crisper drawer. Since your vegetables are already clean and dry, slicing a bell pepper, cucumber or whatever vegetables you want is quick and easy.

Don’t forget to add essential fats to your salad. It’s necessary to absorb the nutrients in your vegetables. A creamy and delicious avocado is a great choice. Drizzling some olive oil or flaxseed oil and fresh lemon juice adds good fat and serves as a dressing too.

Making dressings in your blender or food processor ahead is a timesaver. Especially on those nights you come home
starving. You will really appreciate the simple and speedy recipes. I’ll share one of my favorites:

Place cilantro in the food processor or blender. Add a little olive oil and chop the cilantro finely. Scrape the sides with a spatula. Add more olive oil and some apple cider vinegar and a bit of honey; I use raw honey. Add Himalayan sea salt and pepper to desired to taste. Store in the fridge in a glass mason jar or other glass container. In addition to using as a salad dressing it tastes great on fish and chicken.

We can thank Sylvia for that recipe too! I hope some of these ideas motivate you to plan and prepare for your week and experiment with different things.

What words come to mind when you look in your refrigerator and cabinets? I’m hoping for words like FRESH, ORGANIZED, HEALTHY and SIMPLE. Staple items are easily seen and accessible. Ridding your cabinets of “fake food” will make room for the necessary items you need in a healthy kitchen like coconut oil, olive oil, hemp hearts, raw nuts, nut butters, bone broth, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, Himalayan sea salt, multiple seasoning and spices, and coconut, almond and arrowroot flour; for gluten free options.

Having a few healthy snacks for the “snack attacks” that may come up is a good idea. Some examples are, high quality beef and turkey jerky, Mary’s Gone Crackers and a bar of dark chocolate 75% or higher cacao. Don’t go crazy with having too many snacks, I just recommend having a couple healthy options.

When you open your refrigerator door, I want you to feel proud of the appearance and excited about the delicious and fresh ingredients you see organized in your glass containers to make up healthy meals.

One final note before we close our kitchen chat. You may have noticed that I use Himalayan sea salt and I want to give you the reasons why. This is a must have in a BRIDE FIT HOME! It’s far superior to regular table salt, which is stripped of all its minerals except sodium and chloride. Table salt is chemically cleaned and treated with anti-caking agents. The iodine that is added into it is usually synthetic which is difficult for your body to process properly. Himalayan sea salt is jam packed with minerals and elements as well as natural occurring iodine. You will spend a little more for this salt, but it’s well worth it!

Let’s talk about the air you breath in your home. You may be unknowingly exposing yourself to chemicals or toxins that disrupt your endocrine system. Your endocrine system is a collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate your metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction system, sleep, and mood.

Imagine, after all the efforts you have made and habits you created to support a healthy and fit body, being sabotaged because of chemicals in your soaps, detergents, cleaners and air fresheners. That would be a crying shame!

The chemical TRICLOSAN is an active ingredient in countless products used in most homes. It’s found in anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitizers and personal care products. Even low amounts are linked to thyroid disruption.

Your thyroid controls your metabolism in addition to regulating vital body functions. I can really dive deep into this topic but I’d rather skip the details and give you some solutions to eliminate or reduce your exposure to chemicals that may be affecting your hormones.

If you want to learn more about the hidden chemicals and toxins in your home and how they affect your hormones, I
included links leading to thorough information in the RESOURCES.

You can reference the Environmental Working Group for information and ratings on personal care products, soaps and
cleaners. This will help you make informed decisions on the best products to use in your home. Non-toxic cleaners and products can be purchased through the link to THRIVE MARKET I provided for you.

I’ve personally replaced candles and plug in air fresheners that were emitting toxic chemicals in the air my family
breathes with pure essential oils. I diffuse oils that create calm, uplifting moods through fresh scents. Inhaling pure essential oils has the opposite affect that air fresheners have on your health. I provided a link in the RESOURCES for the essential oils and non-toxic products, such as the cleaners and hand soaps that I use.

The BRIDE FIT HOME sessions are jammed packed with suggestions that require a lot of action. Take the time to review the links I provided and the suggestions I have made. The books I recommended in the BRIDE FIT HOME sessions are of great value and will be great resources.

Your home is your sanctuary. Keeping this space clean and safe is one of your top priorities. Choose effective, natural products that are free from dangerous chemicals and toxins. There are safe solutions available from cleaning products, to hand soaps.

Cheers to your BRIDE FIT HOME! Keep practicing your new healthy habits this week and LIVE, LAUGH and LOVE.
See you soon!
                                           Healthty Kale Dip

Ingredients Instructions
Kale 1.Chop kale in the food processor or blender.
Lemon and/or Lime 2. Transfer Kale from the food processor to a glass bowl.
Olive Oil 3. Mix in the juice of a lemon or lime, or both.
Hemp Hearts 4. Add and mix a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Himalayan Sea Salt 5. Add and mix in Hemp Hearts.
Cayenne Pepper 6.Season to taste with Himalayan sea salt and cayenne
pepper..

                                     Simple Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients Instructions
.Cilantro

.Olive Oil

1. Add cilantro and olive oil to the food processor or
blender and chop finely.
.Apple Cider Vinegar 2.Scrape the sides of the food processor with a spatula.
.Raw Honey

.Himalayan Sea Salt

3Add more olive oil, some apple cider vinegar and
honey to the mix.
.Pepper 4.Add Himalayan sea salt and pepper to desired to taste
5. Store in the fridge in a glass container.

Week 10: Bride Fit Relationship I

We are back together again! Just like every other week in this program I’m excited about all the small shifts that have initiated significant change for you. You are well on your way to being certified BRIDE FIT in every area; BODY, MIND, HOME, and RELATIONSHIP.

The goal is to achieve optimal health and genuine happiness; healthily and happily ever after with your partner in life. The foundation of the FIT BRIDE is that the healthier you are, the happier you are, which positively affects all your relationships but most importantly the one with the love of your life.

Many brides primarily focus on the wedding day and give little to no thought to life after the honeymoon. I want you to have the most amazing day of your life with all the details you’ve dreamed about, including a FIT and FABULOUS BODY. In addition, I want your everyday after to be filled with the same excitement and happiness that your wedding day brings.

In this program so far we’ve covered fitness, nutrition, brain health, mind shifts, daily habits, food preparing, meal planning, kitchen set up, items to register for, and how to minimize toxins in your home.

You are a conscious eater and a deliberate thinker. You move with purpose, clean with awareness, food shop mindfully and plan and prepare with intention.

I encourage you to continue to review the RESOURCES from the previous sessions. The more you review and apply the information, the more ingrained it will become, and the more solidified your new habits will be. Moving on now to becoming BRIDE FIT in your RELATIONSHIP!

Having a BRIDE FIT RELATIONSHIP requires you to invest time, energy and deliberate effort, just like it does to attain a BRIDE FIT BODY and MIND. I will transfer secret keys to you for a happy and healthy relationship.

The keys to a happy and healthy relationship aren’t actually a secret. There’s an abundance of information available in books, podcasts and TED Talks.

I certainly didn’t invent them on my own, nor conduct my own scientific studies. Unofficially I asked a lot of people questions about their thriving, existing or dead relationships, which I learned a lot from. I stand on the shoulders of giants, I simply gather and deliver information; then inspire you to apply it.

I am truly honored to be partnering with you on this journey and I want you to know that I don’t take the position of being your BRIDE FIT COACH lightly. This work has been created and delivered to you with love and with the intention to inspire you to be the absolute best in your body, mind, home and relationship.

I’ll share the highlights of valuable knowledge I’ve collected and learned from the work of the experts in the science of love and relationships. Health and wellness is more than the food we eat and the workouts we do. The strength and pleasure of the love relationship in our lives has a significant impact on our physical health. The reverse is also true; the quality of our physical health greatly affects the vitality of our love relationship.

Ester Perel is a relationship expert who is recognized as one of the most insightful and provocative voices on personal and professional relationships and the complex science behind human interaction. This is someone we can definitely learn relationship skills from! She said, “The quality of your LIFE depends on the QUALITY of your relationship”.

This is a powerful statement that causes us to pay attention and evaluate the quality of our connection with our partner in life. Ester compared the way most people treat and care for their relationships to the way we would care for a cactus in the desert.
That’s not good news and tells me that a large percentage of couples are surviving in love relationships versus thriving.

If our love relationships are connected to our happiness and our happiness is connected to our health, then it’s
enormously important to give attention to the quality of our love relationship if we are interested in a life of health and happiness When it comes to a sport, hobby or vocation, we put deliberate effort into improving our skills by researching, reading and practicing. If people applied the same commitment to learning how to improve their relationship skills there would be more couples thriving and less divorce.

Communication and relationship skills are not inborn. We learn them from the relationships we were exposed to growing up, through our experiences and information we seek on purpose.

I have a question for you. Do you know what your Love Languages are? Do you know your fiances?

Knowing your Love Languages and the Love Languages of your partner is enormously important.

Gary Chapman is the author of “The 5 Love Languages”, and gives simple yet profound guidance. Simply speak to your partner in his language. The five languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Acts of Service
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Quality Time
5. Physical Touch

We all respond in a positive way to all these languages, however Gary Chapman explains, we all have our top two. If we don’t receive them, our LOVE TANK is left empty.

Your homework is to take the online test to determine your top 2 languages, although you may already know. Share this with your fiance and ask him to take the test. If you explain to him that the answers will reveal the best way for you to express your love to him, he’ll be more than willing!

I’ll give you an example of how this information has the potential to elevate the quality your relationship. Let’s say your Love Languages are words of affirmation and physical touch. Your fiancé buys you flowers, often surprises you with gifts, takes you to dinner and even thoughtfully fills up the gas tank in your car to make sure you never run out.

Clearly these are thoughtful and loving actions but for some reason you don’t feel loved or something seems to be
missing. He’s unfortunately not speaking your language!

You need to hear how appreciated and loved you are, have your hand held and greeted with a strong hug and kiss.When you share these feelings with your girlfriend she points out how amazing your man is and how lucky you are.Which you are, however, this just makes you feel worse because now you feel guilty for having feelings of emptiness.When you express how you are feeling to your partner, he tells you that you’re crazy. Clearly he loves you! Then you think something must be wrong with you. You can see where this goes. You end up suppressing your feelings of emptiness and emotions of guilt and shame creep in.

Over time this will be toxic in your relationship and your health. Simply knowing each other’s Love Language could potentially save you from travesty. Once you have awareness, you can make conscious actions to communicate your love effectively.

This is powerful information! It can mean the difference between your marriage thriving versus merely surviving.
Knowing the ATTACHMENT STYLE of you and your partner is also beneficial information that will give you a deeper
understanding of how to effectively communicate to him.

According to the attachment theory, every person behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways:
1. ANXIOUS  people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back.
2. AVOIDANT  people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.
3. SECURE  
people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.

Week 11: Bride Fit Relationship II

We are back together again! I hope you’re ready to jump right in today! Let’s start with a question. How long do you think it takes to form a habit? The magic number is 21 days, but that’s not scientifically accurate. It’s a minimum of 21 days, but it usually takes more like 66 days. A habit is when the action is automatic. I’m hoping the healthy practices that were introduced in the beginning of the program to support a BRIDE FIT BODY and MIND like drinking a lot of water, walking everyday, deep breathing, eating real food, and positive thinking are now established habits.

Just like there are particular habits associated with being fit and fabulous, there are common habits that happy and healthy couples have. Interestingly all of the Love Languages, which we went over in more detail last week (words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service and receiving gifts) are represented in them. All the Love Languages are expressions of love, but it’s your top two that fill up your “love” tank.

When someone has success and excels in a particular area like a sport, fitness program or business, it’s beneficial to find out what their habits are. The secret sauce is what we do on a regular basis. I know you desire a happy and healthy relationship that continues to grow, so let’s look at the habits that most happy couples practice: Expressing appreciation, cuddling in the morning, walking together, cooking and cleaning up together, connecting during the day, bringing your partner coffee in the morning, and turning off the TV to spend time together at night.

Since you have identified your Love Languages and your partners, it’s important to make conscious efforts to show your love by speaking his language. Your established healthy habits and your new actions to show your love will be contagious! You will notice him mirror your healthy routines and loving actions. Happiness, health and love are infectious!

A wise friend said something to me a few years ago that really struck a cord, something that is so simple yet most couples don’t practice it. He said, “If married couples woke up every morning and thought to themselves, what could I do today to make my partner feel loved, valued and happy? There would be a lot less divorce”. What an idea! Think of your partner first! It’s the opposite of what the current model of dating and marriage look like, which is all about “me”. Ester Perel said the breakdown in relationships starts the day we stop thinking of our partner, and shift our focus to ourselves. I’m not suggesting you ignore or forget your needs.

Self-care plays a big role in being BRIDE FIT in your BODY and MIND. By implementing practices like regular massages, girlfriend time, yoga or meditation, and doing things you love for pleasure that aren’t attached to the “to do” list, will ensure that you won’t depend on your mate to fill you up. You will show up in the relationship whole, happy and strong in your body and mind. You come together as a couple because you “want to” versus you “need to”. You think about what you could do to make your partner feel loved, valued and happy today. The beautiful thing is he will be thinking the same thing! You are now at a level 3 relationship, which is exactly where you want to be!

Let’s circle back to habits that go hand and hand with healthy and happy relationships. I would encourage you to talk with your fiancé and agree on some routines that will support a BRIDE FIT RELATIONSHIP. Suggestions I mentioned, such as walking together, are perfect. Getting outside either in the morning before you start your day, or in the evening after dinner, Sunday mornings, or a combination promotes conversation, quality time and fresh air.

Turning the TV off at night to spend quality time together is also a good one. How can you possibly connect with your partner when the television is on? Snuggle up on the couch and talk to each other. This habit creates connection and love.

Making a habit of reconnecting throughout the day can be as simple as sending a loving text or a phone call on the way home. We have such busy schedules that connecting with your partner throughout the day may be last on your list, but if you want to have a happy, long-lasting relationship, it’s crucial.

Cooking together is a great way to get on the same page and in alignment with eating real food. Pick a new recipe to cook together weekly. It’s always much more fun when you cook with your partner. The habit of cooking and eating together creates intimacy, connection and love.

I really like the idea of a special date nights also. Once a week or every other week; get the dates on the calendar. Alternate who plans the date. Be creative, and make it fun and meaningful. This creates a little mystery and playfulness, which keeps the desire alive! In addition this routine gives you both the opportunity to surprise each other.

The world needs MORE happy and healthy couples, there’s a shortage! I’m so happy that you are not settling for the status quo and creating an amazing relationship and extraordinary life!

Exceptional individuals like you and your partner don’t waste time on superficial nonsense and try to live up to society s standard of happiness. As a couple you focus on creating, establishing and accomplishing goals. A BRIDE FIT RELATIONSHIP focuses on short and long term goals that are both individual and also as a couple. Setting goals require you to have meaningful conversations about your hopes and dreams. Do you want to travel? What are your desired destinations? How often do you envision going away? Do you both have a vision of a dream house or an apartment in the city? Is one of you planning on being a full or part time stay at home parent if or when you have children?

This all brings up the discussion of what you both value. We spend money on things we value. When your physical and mental health is a priority you will spend money on things such as quality food, supplements, yoga, personal training, books, seminars, and massages. You will put aside things that don’t contribute to your health or happiness. Being on the same page or at least aware of each other’s values is important.

Having conversations involving money can be uncomfortable for a lot of people because there’s many emotions attached to the subject. Shame and guilt are commonly associated with finances. Reasons for these emotions are generated from not feeling like you make enough income or you have a lot of credit card debt. Keep in mind that we grow every time we step out of our comfort zone. When we are really pushing our bodies, for an example, during the 20 seconds work phase in a tabata training, it is really uncomfortable, but that’s precisely the time when we are getting physically stronger. I encourage you to push through the uncomfortable feelings that may come up even when thinking about having a discussion on this topic with your partner.

There’s a fantastic book you can use as a companion that makes the whole money conversation feel good. The book, “Money: a love story” brings kindness and compassion to the subject of money. It’s filled with practical hands-on, no-judgment ways to heal your own money legacy.

Dr. Christiane Northrup, is a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness and is internationally known for her empowering approach. She teaches women how to thrive at every stage of life. Dr. Northrup says in the foreword of the book, “Money: A Love Story” written by her daughter, Kate Northrup, that our relationship with money profoundly affects our health. Particularly the health of the second chakra, which includes our organs of reproduction, the bladder, parts of the bowel, and the low back. She explains how for years and years as an ob/gyn physician, how she has seen up close and personal how a woman’s health is affected by issues on money, sex, and power; the second chakra energies.

For example, a woman’s pelvic health is generally good when she has control over her own finances versus being controlled by the finances of others. Or feeling unworthy to accept more money for the work she does.

When you have health in your finances, it’s infinitely easier to have health in your body.

I hope this inspires you to set short and long-term goals and look the money monster in the eye whether it’s good or bad.

Let’s take some deep breaths!

Have fun this week adding in a few fun couple routines that will deepen your connection with your partner and set the stage for living “happily and healthily” ever after.

See you soon!

Week 12: Bride Fit Relationship III

Being a FIT BRIDE means feeling strong and powerful in your body and mind. I hope this last BRIDE FIT session finds you excited and proud about all the positive results you are experiencing because of new habits that support your fit body and healthy mind.

You know that being healthy is so much more than what you eat and how much you workout. Of coarse, nutrition and movement make up a big part of having a BRIDE FIT BODY AND MIND, but getting enough sleep, pleasure and plenty of laughter is equally important

Did you know that habits make up over forty percent of our actions everyday? Changing habits that are not serving your goals of getting wedding dress ready and living a healthy “ever after” life, need to be replaced by habits that do support a BRIDE FIT BODY AND MIND.

By making incremental changes in your daily routine you have created sustainable results. Achieving a BRIDE FIT BODY, MIND, HOME AND RELATIONSHIP started with your decision to buy this program and followed by active participation in it. Your commitment and diligence to following the suggested actions every week has ensured your results. I am so proud of you!

I’m sure you have inspired your partner, friends and family to improve their health and wellness with your fit body and positive energy. Health is contagious!

I want to do a quick overview, and then conclude with some more points to ensure you have a BRIDE FIT RELATIONSHIP. In the beginning you added new daily routines like drinking more water, eating more vegetables and moving your body. By default the habits that weren’t supporting your goals of health and wellness, and vision for a BRIDE FIT BODY, went away. Yes, the process was slow, but your new routines are habits now.

You are a conscious eater, and mindful of the quality of the food you fuel your body with. You have an understanding of the important role micronutrients play in a healthy body and mind. When someone opens your refrigerator and cabinets in your home, they see an organized space with healthy real food

You check in with sources like the Environmental Working Group to stay informed and educated about keeping your home as healthy as possible. You choose products without harmful toxins for cleaning, air freshening and personal care. You started implementing habits with your partner that will connect you both and support the growth of your love and desire for each other.

Continue to seek knowledge in all areas of health through reading, listening and practicing. The result is that your BODY, MIND, HOME and RELATIONSHIP will thrive. This journey to a FIT BRIDE has formed you into a healthy and happy woman, strong in your body and mind.

The ideal marriage is a joining of strengths and a balance of weaknesses, not a demand that the other person makes you feel complete. You don’t need your partner to make you whole or happy, although I’m sure he does, you are coming to the altar in your own completeness.

Knowing your partners love language and speaking in that language to express your love is one of the most powerful practices you can do to create and maintain a connected union. I’m hoping he knows yours, too and is speaking love in your language! Feeling truly loved creates a sense of security and confidence that is priceless.

I mentioned last week that I have asked various men and women, married and divorced, questions regarding their experience in their relationships. I surveyed people over the last year as “research” for a book I was writing on the essentials for a healthy and happy life for BRIDES, which ultimately turned into this program, 12 WEEKS TO A FIT BRIDE! The biggest complaint that I heard from both the men and the women, were that they didn’t feel heard. The communication was either nonexistent or ineffective.

Other complaints were the distractions from phones and computers, and their partners spending an exorbitant amount of time connecting and chatting with people on social media, like Facebook.

Communication is important in your relationship, as it allows you to share concerns, feelings and aspirations, to support each other, and to make decisions. Good communication is about the way we talk and listen, and about our body language. It is a skill that we can learn how to improve, and well worth taking some time to become the best communicators possible.

Being an active listener will benefit you in all your relationships, but is especially important with your partner in life. Hearing happens! Listening is an active process in which a conscious decision to understand the message of the person talking takes place.

When someone is talking, we tend to be thinking of what we are going to say in response instead of paying attention to what the other person is saying. Eye contact is one way to focus on what they’re saying versus being distracted and looking at other things.

Another point to keep in mind is that communicating your feelings in a kind way is a BRIDE FIT RELATIONSHIP must. Most people, men especially, don’t read minds!

Disconnecting from electronics is important for your brain health as well as your relationship health. A happily married man said something that sticks out in my mind. He expressed to his wife the need to turn the phones off in the evenings after work. His wife’s constant checking notifications and texting friends were hurting their relationship. He said he believed the marriage would have ended in divorce if it continued.

This is a great example of one partner expressing feelings and making a request known, and the other partner actively listening and taking action versus being defensive. Giving up the need to win arguments and be right is something we need to do in order to be happy.

Keep it simple, take the advice of my wise friend; wake up in the morning and ask yourself what you can do today to make your partner feel loved and special. With this intention your actions will be genuine and your partner will respond by reciprocating with the same desire to make you feel loved and valued.

By communicating your feelings and requests with kindness it will yield positive results, I guarantee it!

Being quiet and listening, not just hearing, when your partner is talking will take your relationship and connection to a much higher level. Giving up the need to be right, even though you more than likely are, will result in more happiness and peace.

Find joy and comfort in the daily routines you have established with your partner. Walking together, cooking together, cuddling in the morning, and greeting each other with a hug and kiss that linger a bit, are some examples of daily habits that create love, connection, desire and security.

It brings to mind the words of Bruce Lee, “The happiness that is derived from the ordinary life lasts longer; like coal, it burns gradually and slowly”. Many young couples lead a very exciting life when they are in love. So when they marry, and their lives are reduced to calmness and dullness they will feel impatient and drink the bitter cup of a sad marriage.”

The planning of your wedding is a time filled with excitement and anticipation. The dream dress, the parties and celebrations, picking colors and venues, registering for new and fun things, honeymoon reservations, the list goes on! Most brides only focus on the details of the day. That’s what will set you apart. You are the exception and not interested in the status quo or you would not be reading this right now!

Have fun and wallow in the once in a lifetime excitement of planning and anticipating the big day. Continuing to solidify the daily routines with your partner will give your relationship the substance and strength to carry you through the everyday ordinary, which makes up most of your life. A BRIDE FIT RELATIONSHIP thrives in the everyday “ordinary”.

You are definitely a FIT BRIDE in every way. You motivate everyone you come in contact with because you ooze radiance and confidence.

I am overflowing with excitement for you and your partner. They are so lucky to have you, this I know for sure! You have a solid foundation and all the tools you need to live a happy and healthy “ever after.”

I’m here to help you get a BRIDE FIT BODY for your wedding day. I want you to feel confident and beautiful, and project the fit and fabulous princess that you are!

Please contact me if you need extra support, I’m happy to assist you in any way I can.

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